Monthly Archives: September 2017

TURN Down for What, Part II

(This is a little late because Real Life has been happening…)

WHEW. Did any one catch the series finale of TURN? ALL THE FEELS.

My life, of late, has been a perfect storm of all things Revolutionary, especially all things Culper: The tv series, relocating to Philadelphia, the first 71 episodes of the American Military History Podcast, the Museum of the American Revolution. Add the two recent books on this subject, George Washington’s Secret Six and Washington’s Spies, and I’ve been wallowing in the Culper Ring like a pig in mud. It’s been fantastic.

You see humanity, savagery, unexpected feels, unexpected plot twists (unless you know how the actual history plays out – funny how history has spoilers like that..). You even get to see Virginia star as Virginia as the excitement moves south! You follow everything obsessively on social media, put people in touch with people so you can say, “I know one of the extras!”, and can talk about the show with other fans at colonial balls so you both know what you mean when all you say is, “all the feels!”

But even more important to me: let me take even more time to gush about the production quality and the cinematography. Because it is beautiful and dramatic and adds elegance and authority and drama and so gorgeously underscores everything the characters do. I can’t coherently articulate my thoughts on the cinematography so I will sum it up with, “all the feels.





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A Different Angle

Last year I had written about an opportunity to go behind the scenes to see some of the Smithsonian’s 9/11 collection. Link here. Our tour guide, who was a curator but did not collect for this particular event, briefly touched on the mental and emotional impact experienced by those brave souls who did curate the sites, working among the rescue workers in an attempt to make sense of the event and find a way for future historians to tell the story, while no one yet understood what exactly that story was.

We always remember the first responders, and rightly so, from the firefighters to the National Guard to the chaplain who died giving last rites to victims. As an historian and someone whose livelihood exists behind the scenes, I don’t want to forget the people who operated in realms not often considered, from the museum curator who couldn’t do her job to a trucker whose interview I heard on the radio last week. The trucker’s cargo was empty body bags, and he had to drive to New York to deliver them. Yikes.


“9/11 Living Memorial,” Jerusalem, Israel. Made from recovered steel

It’s hard to express this year’s feelings on today. Searching for pictures to use made me realize what an international event it was, even before the War on Terror began. It has become both more global and more individualized as I look at the pictures and see both large groups involved, whose individual members all have a story. The trick is not forgetting either the group or the person as this event has been seminal on both an individual and a global level.



Image Source: 9/11 Memorials around the world

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